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Europe 40 Under 40 Awards ARCHIVE 2016 40under40
Tropical Pyramids - WY-TO architects - France
  • Tropical Pyramids - WY-TO architects - France
  • Tropical Pyramids - WY-TO architects - France
  • Tropical Pyramids - WY-TO architects - France
Tropical Pyramids - WY-TO architects - France
WY-TO architects


WY-TO are multidisciplinary Architectural Designers based in Singapore and Paris, specialising in architecture, interior design, exhibition design and cultural curation. The Singapore practice was established in 2010 by founder, Yann Follain, and together with Pauline Gaudry, the Paris office was founded in 2012 to strengthen the multicultural portfolio of both offices by leveraging cultural exchanges, new forms of construction and synthesising disciplines for an integrative design approach. Our diversified knowledge has been built over multiple experiences developing and executing projects in various scales for clients in the residential, commercial, artistic exhibition and museum sectors.

At the core of WY-TO’s philosophy is our fundamental belief that design must serve a cause. Our disciplined approach is rooted in research and strategy and aims to develop timeless, durable environments with a strong focus on context and content as our driving methodology, beyond pure aesthetics. As Sustainability advocates, we work to maximise human wellbeing from the responsible use of resources through sensitive green design to minimise negative environmental impact when designing objects, buildings and spaces.

We continuously refine our design ideology to push boundaries and address distinct constraints. WY-TO’s multicultural identity provides a unique perspective, whether in developing enduring sustainable architecture; evocative living and working experiences; iconic, experiential exhibitions; memorable cultural journeys or helping society’s underprivileged living in challenging environments.

Ultimately, our mission is to deliver inspired, thoughtful and long-lasting solutions that essentially respond to real, humanistic needs.

Project Description

As the world is becoming exponentially urbanized, the natural environment is shrinking. While green spaces remain crucial to balance the development and density of the cities. They provide passive energy adjustments, integrate nature into residents’ lives, and improve the health of the urban ensembles.

Shaped as a synthesis of urban integration and sustainability, the Tropical Pyramids exhibit the delicate balance between man and nature. For instance, the site stands at the crossroads of various circulation paths. From pedestrian routes to rail transit lines, these movements split the scheme into four parts to set up its general shape. They are then woven back together through a multi-level network of platforms. Public spaces are thus generated for interaction amongst the towers and the neighbouring buildings. The tropical environment plays an equally important part in crafting the towers at every level. At the macro scale, the towers taper towards the sky to maximize wind penetration and reduce heat radiation. At the mezzo scale, strategic excavations form green intermediate spaces within the buildings. These cooler protected spaces are offered to the communities to take ownership of them.
 As the proposal carves away building mass, it encourages thickness of the skin. Indeed at the micro scale, the smart façade system provides both sun-shading device and ensure natural ventilation. In addition to this sustainable feature, users can easily customize the façade with the pre-fabricated components. By doing so, they imprint their identities onto the building, dispelling the anonymity that often characterizes a highly dense development. With this constant transformation, the building evolves as it ages, like a living organism.

Tropical Pyramids embodies a sustainable approach that re-enact architecture with nature and reunites people with their immediate environment, bringing the traditions of low-rise architecture into the vertical metropolises of the future.